Ad Stars has begun its annual task of choosing its judges.
Merlee Jayme, global president of dentsu mcgarrybowen, Ali Rez, regional executive creative director of Impact BBDO and Natalie Lam, Publicis Groupe chief creative officer for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, have been chosen as executive judges for the Ad Stars Awards 2021.
Merlee Jayme is the Ad Stars 2021 executive judge for the brand experience & activation, creative ecommerce, direct, media and PR categories. She became global president at dentsu mcgarrybowen in 2020, and was also an Ad Stars executive judge in 2015.
“I have always admired Ad Stars’ ethos as a festival that offers a level playing field for creators by offering entries free-of-charge. We are living in an age where creative solutions have never been more important, yet budgets are being squeezed by a global economic downturn. I hope creative agencies big and small will enter their work into this year’s awards program, and I can’t wait to be inspired by their ideas and ingenuity again this year,” Jayme stated.
Jayme was a co-founder of DM9 Jayme Syfu in Manila, which was later acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network and brought the country its first Cannes Lions trophy. Since then she has won countless accolades, ranking eighth in The Drum’s global 2019 ranking of the 100 Best Chief Creative Officers in the world.
Ali Rez, regional executive creative director at Impact BBDO, United Arab Emirates, returns to Ad Stars as executive judge for the diverse insights, outdoor, psa, pivot, place brand, radio & audio categories. Under his leadership, BBDO Pakistan won Agency of the Year at Ad Stars 2018.
“It is always an honour to be part of Ad Stars, a festival that is committed to supporting and promoting creators all over the world. I look forward to discovering brave ideas which upend stereotypes, provoke change, transform the narrative, or simply make us smile,” Rez commented.
Impact BBDO emerged as one of the Top 5 most creative agencies in the world in 2020. This year Rez ranks among the Top 10 ECDs in the world and is the most awarded ECD in APAC and MENA, with more than 500 international accolades to his name.
Natalie Lam is the Ad Stars 2021 executive judge for the interactive, integrated, innovation, mobile, data insights and social & influencer categories. She joined Publicis Groupe as the network’s first chief creative officer for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa earlier this year.
“North Asia is a hub for innovation and technology, which is one of the reasons I’m so excited to judge Ad Stars. I am hoping to discover fresh interactive and digital innovations from diverse cultures – ideas that embrace cutting-edge technology without losing sight of their humanity,” Lam stated.
Lam made her mark working on Nike at R/GA before joining Ogilvy One Shanghai. She then worked at McCann, Razorfish and Google in the United States.
Now in its 14th year, Ad Stars is one of the fastest-growing creative industries festivals in the world with over 20,000 entries received in 2020. The Ad Stars 2021 Online Festival will run August 25-27, and all winners will be announced on August 27.
Ad Stars is now open for entries free-of-charge to the Ad Stars 2021 Awards. The deadline is May 15, and the top two Grand Prix of the Year winners will win US$10,000 each.